From the moment that the LA Rams used a draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to add a defensive lineman to the roster, the instant conclusion that would have been quite fair to make was that the LA Rams had just created competition on the defensive line. But when the LA Rams used their 117th pick (Round Four) to add the dynamic monster from the Texas A&M Aggies, Bobby Brown III, the competition escalated to the starting spot on the Rams defensive line.
That’s fairly dramatic because the team was swamped with the riches of 2020 rookie defensive linemen who continue to hope for a spot on the roster for 2021. And they were also prepared to welcome veteran A’Shawn Robinson back to the fold after a less-than-impressive debut on his first season with the team.
Whether intentional or coincidental, the LA Rams have one helluva training camp battle on the defensive front. On one side, they have an incoming raw rookie who has tremendous power and instincts who can get to the quarterback. On the other side, they have a tremendously powerful giant who can slide anywhere into the defensive line and become a huge help to All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Thankfully, one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL is on hand to sort it all out, Eric Henderson.
If you’ve followed the Rams defensive line coach, you know that he is as close to a celebrity among defensive linemen as possible. Rather than try to hide or mask the grueling workouts and thankless efforts of succeeding as a defensive lineman, he has reversed the polarity and embraced the hard work and effort necessary to succeed as an NFL defensive line with the mantra Dawgwork.
Ripping a chapter out of: ‘The Few, The Proud, The Marines’ advertising campaign, Henderson has created a consistent messaging for all of his defensive linemen: ‘Either you’re getting better, or you ain’t’ that has been embraced by all, even All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. And Henderson has an immensely talented group to work with this year.